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Can doom have this great of atmosphere? - 89%

WitheringToSerenity, July 25th, 2004

Cryptal Darkness are a melodic gothic doom(with male vocals) band that, although one of the least original bands I can think of can create a densely sorrowful and melancholic atmosphere that can easily compete with any band in this genre. The obvious comparison(which hit me about as soon as the 2nd track started) is to My Dying Bride and I would recommend this album to anyone who considers them a fan of their music. The instruments are familiar. Dual guitars/bassist/drums and tons of keyboards and the occasional violin passage by everyone's favorite Martin Powell. As easy it would be to dismiss them as a shitty My Dying Bride clone consider the following. First the vocals are different while maintaining an incredibly sad, melodic and sorrowful tone. Musically they contain some melodies that could come straight out of the MDB textbook. That being said I don't think they could match the over the top melancholic brooding yet beautiful atmosphere that with what most would consider excessive atmosphere.

The guitars are typically slow tempo doom pace with enough tempo changes to keep the listener interested and they contain more of an emphasis on memorable guitar melodies. I would say for gothic doom standards the harmonies and guitars in general are well above average. With the inclusion of a few pretty good guitar solo's too! Rhythm instruments are solid but nothing spectactular. A few nice faster drum parts but only that impressive to a devoted Lars Ulrich fanatic. The keyboards flourish with melancholic beauty and the violin is outstanding as always. These instruments in particular are used more than usual and it doesnt only give the album a feeling of beauty but perhaps more accessible than fellow gothic doom bands with male vocals. I can still see why many would be detracted by the over the top atmospheric presence of this album but I happen to think it as outstanding. I would recommend this to anyone interested in gothic doom or atmospheric metal. I consider this easily as their best and I highly doubt they will ever surpass this.

Favorite Tracks: They Whispered You Had Risen, To Blackened Skies I Suffer, Naked She Lay In The Virgin Snow

Gothic-doom in the vein of My Dying Bride - 72%

Egregius, February 27th, 2004

I was going to mention how the music reminded me of My Dying Bride in some respects, especially the violin-parts and their sound, which are so typical of MDB; then I noticed the violinist is in fact from MDB.

The music as a whole can indeed be typified as gothic-doom in the vein of My Dying Bride: very slow doom, with subtle keyboards, a prominent role for the weeping (almost whiny) violins, sludgy, not the over-symphonic theatrics of gothic-doom's bastard cousin gothic metal, but still slightly over-dramatic, almost slimy, tortured and moany clean vocals.

The music is extremely slow, minimalistic, and only on tracks 6 and 7, 'I Bleed' and 'Last Embrace', do they pick up the pace a bit (and on the latter only for a tiny while). Sorrowfull, mournfull, almost-over-the-top melancholic drama typifies both vocals, songtitles, and the music. It's a bit too much for myself ('Naked She Lay On The Virgin Snow' is a bit too much songtitle-cliche's for me), but I can apreciate the effort on the whole. Just not my cup of tea, as I'm also not much of a fan of My Dying Bride. Perhaps more for you?